We are joined by Nick Morris, mountain guide and owner of Nicks Outdoor Adventures, who tells us about his incredible experience, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
Namaste, this is the journey that ignited a spark and knocked the first domino in what will become a great lifetime adventure. I owe a lot to this country. The home of the mighty Himalaya, the Sherpa people and life changing journeys. Of course, it is Nepal! I run Nicks Outdoor Adventures, a dream for many years, until Nepal turned it into a reality.
The air is fresh with a crisp chill as you meander through the Khumbu Valley. Clouds of dust fill the air as you hastily move mountain side for a Yak convoy plodding their way past you on the narrow trail, and as the dust clears and the bells become a distant soft “dong…dong” the mountain peaks reveal themselves once again. Nepal is a country of beauty in both the landscape and the people. Every ridge or corner you pass reveals another breathe taking, jaw dropping view which you just look upon and witness in a timeless state, a spectator to one of the greatest shows on the planet…Mother Nature.
The journey started on a soggy May evening bored with mundane office life. Adventure was calling so flights were booked, a location was decided and the soul craved mountains. 7 months later and I am stood in the arrivals at Kathmandu Airport, slightly nervous but extremely excited as the adventure had begun. The streets of Thamel were alive! Cars everywhere, people working their stalls and temples on every street. After a few days we boarded the small plane to fly to Lukla and the trek began. I won’t bore you with a day to day schedule, but I will focus on my personal highlights and experiences. The trek lasts around 15 days starting at Lukla following the dusty ribbons through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp. You can do it quicker but why rush when surrounded by such beauty. Take a casual pace, absorb every sound, sight and smell fully immersing yourself to become one with Nepal.
As Lukla fades into the distance and you move deeper into the mountains there is a tranquillity and honesty in the atmosphere. The mountains tower overhead in every direction as far as the eye can see, although if you ask the Nepali people what mountain it is you will receive “that’s just a bump, it’s nothing, just the floor”. Hard to believe when in the shadow of this “mountain” but over the coming 6 days we would realise why they called it a bump.
After a day trekking with the sun beating down and aching legs the tea house is a pleasant site. A modest small stone building with a tin roof nestled into the side of the trail with a view that is indescribable (but I’ll try). Sitting on the wall you look down the valley. The green blanket of trees covers the lower slopes of the valley floor and the sky is a rich blue with not a cloud in sight. The crashing river below carves through the valley floor and bird song surrounds you. A Yak train passes in front of you as the locals go about their daily business while you sip your hot lemon, ginger and honey. I often found myself sat looking out from the teahouse in a peaceful, calm and absorbed frame of mind. With no internet, no chores or distractions I had more raw, authentic and enriching experiences in Nepal than any other country I have visited. Life will slow right down stripped of every normality providing that rare opportunity in life to solely focus on your mind through reflection and honest evaluation. Over the trip you will purify and indulge the soul returning an enhanced version of yourself, but It won’t be until you return to daily life that you truly appreciate and recognise the effects.
Prayer flags, stones and wheels line the villages and paths of the Khumbu, being a deeply rooted part of Nepali belief and culture. I had a special reason for this trip and span many prayer wheels, to which my good Karma was rewarded, leaving a very special bond with Nepal. But that’s a different story.
After a few days of trekking we had reached the largest suspension bridge on the trek. Hanging high above the valley floor with hundreds of prayer flags flowing in the passing breeze and gently bouncing as you cross; it’s hard to believe the Yaks also cross using the same bridge. The ascent to Namche Bazar is a long winding path up a steep dusty track, which at the top reveals a bustling thriving village deep in the Khumbu. We headed to the tea house and settled in for the next 2 nights. I set an early alarm, grabbed my down jacket and headed up the trail to find a quiet spot to watch the sunrise, as it was Christmas Eve and my birthday! After a day’s acclimatisation hike we returned to the teahouse, watched a Sherpa film at the local café and chilled out, what a perfect birthday!
Don't miss out on part 2 next week.
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